Fully High and Functioning?

I’m having this problem–and I know I’m not the only one–whereby most of the people in my life keep blowing off my poor mental health because I’m not quivering in a corner somewhere mumbling obscenities and drooling onto my bathrobe. And I’m not exactly whispering subtle cries for help into the wind in the dead of night when only the owls can hear me. I’m saying to a therapist, “I’m not ok and I need help.”

And he says back, “Can you get out of bed each day? Are you able to wash and dress yourself? Have you been going to work? Feeding your children? Engaging in pastimes that you enjoy?” Yes, thank you. I am fully functional as a member of society and fulfilling all of my expectations. But I’m not…. ok.

“Well, do you hear voices? Do you see things that aren’t there? Have you prepared a thorough implementation plan for a suicide attempt with a bulleted list of who’s to blame and a PowerPoint presentation that’ll help your next of kin produce a limited series on Netflix based on your true story?” No, I’m not batshit, I just need a little help.

“Have you tried dunking your face into an ice bath to stop your breathing and reset your brain?”

My God, NO! No, thank you!

“Do you engage in recreational drug use to self-soothe?”

NO!

“Do have a glass of wine or two at the end of the night or the middle of the day to take the edge off?”

No, what the hell? Are these your solutions? Are these the only solutions to being overworked and overtired and anxious and depressed and feeling like the world is a garbage bin collapsing in on itself?!

Obviously, I left that therapist. I changed jobs. I changed schedules. I implemented rules and strategies to organize at home. But I’m still… so tired. Soul tired. Mentally fatigued. Just so… so done.

There has got to be something better than wine and drugs and useless therapy and empty promises.

Maybe that’s why I write.

But I have to say, it’s pretty depressing that so little has changed since I starting writing this book two years ago. Releasing it now is just a reminder of how much further I need to go.

Fully Functioning Cover v6

Fully Functioning: a postpartum descent into obsessive fangirling

This book is about the slow realization that there was something wrong with my brain, how easy it was for everyone to ignore that, and finding a vice/self-medicating/self-soothing method that didn’t do any actual damage to my brain or body or children.

This book is also about using stories to become more self-aware, how we can find ourselves in fictional characters and use their emotions to discover our own.

This book is about marriage, how children can change a marriage, finding the faults in marriage and refusing to accept them. 

This book is about postpartum life, infant hell, motherhood, and how society fails to take care of mothers.

This book is about addiction, how it doesn’t have to be about physical dependence, how the root is trauma, the whole thing about “gateways” being mental issues not dealt with.

This book is about self-actualization, understanding patterns of thought or behavior that don’t serve the health of the individual, the roots of those patterns, how one can discover their existence, and the decision to change them.

 

So the good news is that I have plenty of material for at least two sequels.

 


Here are the fun links I found about high-functioning mental health disorders:

High Functioning Mental Health Disorders on MentalHeathCenter.org

What it’s like to have a high-functioning mental health disorder by Mandy Frankel on TheMighty.com

What are the signs and symptoms of high functioning depression on BridgesToRecovery.com

Some people are high-functioning, but that doesn’t invalidate their mental health on Time-To-Change.org.uk

 

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Life Lessons for Introverts

It’s tricky, being an introvert, because I think a lot of us just assume that other people are extroverts. That assumption is based on our culture hammering that into us, of course, as well as how much better it is to be an extrovert, how it’s the norm, how it’s the only way to succeed in life, and how if you’re not extroverted, everyone will think you’re rude, mean, conceited, aloof, or bitchy.

And this is what I’m thinking about having just had my oversensitive feelings hurt by a woman outside the restrooms who opted not to engage with me.

All I said was, “Anyone in there?” because usually when someone is lurking outside a single restroom, it’s because they’re waiting for something. Assumption 1: She was waiting for whoever was in the Ladies’ so I asked if there was anyone in the Mens’.

She made eye contact, lowered her brows, pursed her lips and shrugged aggressively.

Assumption 2: BITCH.

But then I’m in the Mens’ Room grumbling internally about mean people and how this is why I never talk to strangers and what’s HER problem anyway?!? when I remembered that sometimes when my brain is elsewhere and strangers talk to me, I’m like, What? Who are you? What are you asking? What face am I making? Is it weird? I should respond. What did they ask? Do I know the answer? Why are they looking at me like that? Oh, right because I didn’t respond yet. “Um… I don’t… uh… I don’t know.” *shrug*

And then, Assumption 3: Wow, they must think I’m a bitch/dummy or something. Damn my introversion!

I decided, while washing my hands, that I should “forgive” shruggy lady because maybe she was just an introvert whose brain was elsewhere (and I “forgive” with quotes because… humility? If I was completely wrong about her, then I should be more apologizey than forgivey).

And then I started thinking, MAN, there should be some heartfelt, mellow-colored textured background motivational posters or something for introverts to remind them to chill out about social interactions.

Then I made these:

Life Lessons for Introverts 1

 

Life Lessons for Introverts 2

 

Now I wait for the TED Talk people to contact me, right?

Why Not Me?

I’ve been working on advertising my books for free or cheap over the past few weeks, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t for me (specifically for me because I do not have the time to follow the handy 9 step whatever advice I keep seeing with the guest posting and the author networking. I HAVE TWO JOBS, damnit) and I’m finding that Facebook ads kinda work but also are a pain in the ass.

How’s that for useful advice from me? Kinda work in a mostly sucky way. Thanks for reading my clickbait author advice article.

Anyway, during my 15 minute lunch break at my new job this morning, I checked on a Facebook ad that didn’t even freaking start yet because… I did it wrong somehow? Ugh, I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know: Giving away books for free ain’t easy. It’s a saturated market, I guess and a lot of the stuff out there is garbage.

It’s funny, I used to work in publishing and we had a saying in my department when we got stuck with a crap book: Any Asshole Can Publish a Book. We even planned on starting our own publishing company someday called AA Publishing (as in Any Asshole). And here I am, like an asshole, self-publishing my own books.

Started at the bottom and all that.

So, if you’re interested in reading some asshole’s book, this one’s free for the next few days:

Lay Her Ghosts Facebook free promo

 

Lay Her Ghosts to Rest free on Amazon Aug 6-10.

There’s More Than One Way to End Happy

I started watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix at a point in my life–I don’t remember exactly–when I needed a story about motherhood. I was one myself, and probably newly so, either with my first or my second, and everything else was baaad. I was isolated, exhausted, hormonal, and depressed and then… Jane. An hour of magic and love and characters who talked to each other, expressed their fears and feelings, and got through some wacky shit together.

I just watched the last episode this afternoon–crying hysterically the whole time–one day before my last at the crappy per diem job I took five years ago knowing that I wanted to have a baby and couldn’t afford to stop working.

Five years for Jane’s story, five years for this part of mine, and both of us going from childless and job-focused to motherhood and authorhood, (although she’s obviously doing better than me on that front).

Five years ago, before I’d even gotten pregnant, I left a full-time position at a company that was in its third round of lay-offs and took a friend up on an offer to get me into his organization. It seemed great at the time: super part-time, flexible, easy, close to home, and both not benefited and working for a lazy permissive supervisor which meant that the only consequence of not showing up was a smaller paycheck. It let me be there for my babies, take (obviously unpaid) maternity leave but go back when I was ready, work from home if necessary and really, just come and go as I please. But it also ended up being really exploitative. My boss knew that I didn’t have a lot of options, especially after my second child. He knew my work style–proactive, problem-solving, self-motivated and reliable to a fault–and used it against me constantly, letting me talk myself into doing things that were clearly and negligently NOT my responsibility rather than taking any responsibility on himself to do or delegate. He was the kind of racist who would say things like, “I wish they’d just tell me their real names. I’ll call them by their real names. I’m that kind of guy. They don’t have to make up fake American names just to make me comfortable.” And the kind of sexist who would laugh harder when I’d say, “Wow, that’s sexist. Please stop,” because he thought we were both in on the joke.

So when an amazing permanent part-time position came up with a job description that read like a list of my skills, I jumped and I landed and I start on Monday.

I’ve spent the past two and a half weeks since I gave my notice trying to enjoy all the parts of my schedule that make me happy: abundant time with my children, flexibility to deal with routine appointments as well as unhappy surprises, illnesses, and babysitter flakeouts, the freedom to Not Care what happens at work because honestly, with a boss like that, why should I?

All that comes to an end tomorrow. And I become a real working mother who only sees her kids at the beginning and end(ish) of the day, who doesn’t have nearly enough time to stream videos on my phone while I nurse a child.

And Jane ends at the same time, stripping all the magic out of my life and forcing me to grow up, get out of the house, and be my own person again.

I hate when a show I love ends. But my babies are growing up and don’t need me as much which means I can leave a shitty job and do something with my time other than watching TV until that baby belly is full.

 

And there’s always my somewhat fictionalized memoir to help me appreciate my choice. Oh but that’s more about Riverdale than Jane. I’ve done a lot of breast-feeding over the past few years so I streamed a lot of drama.

I’ve seen every episode of Baywatch, by the way.

 

Fully Functioning: a postpartum descent into obsessive fangirling

Fully Functioning Cover v6 by Eda J Vor

Available for pre-order on Amazon.com

It was a slow and painful realization that there was something wrong and the ease with which everyone else ignored it made it all the more squiggly to pin down. After all, a functional mother is one who can change a diaper and remember bedtimes. If she’s not falling to pieces, she’s fine.

Go down the rabbit-hole of hormone-induced mental illness and back again with a woman who survived postpartum depression through fanfiction addiction and found the clarity to confront the everyday demons of a troubled marriage, inadequate healthcare, and unattainable ideals of motherhood. This is the partially true story from an utterly unreliable narrator of how our culture fails mothers in their most desperate and vulnerable state.

 

Postpoartum

I finally submitted my new book as a pre-order on KDP… with a spelling mistake on the cover. It’s in review now so I can’t change it. So… that’s awesome.

Way to be professional, Eda.

Fully Functioning Cover v6

Let’s call this a cover reveal and pretend it’s exciting.

I Promise You Itches

So I’m working on the whole self-promotion without self-immolation thing but the best I can do so far is bizarre and a little uncomfortable.

What do YOU think of my new book description?

It was a slow and painful realization that there was something wrong and the ease with which everyone else ignored it made it all the more squiggly to pin down. This is the partially true story of how our culture fails mothers in their most desperate and vulnerable state and how one woman relied on a harmless vice not only to maintain her sanity but to figure out the root of her depression and find the clarity to confront it. With an unreliable narrator and metaphors to make you itch, you too can travel through a postpartum depressive episode, a fiction addiction, and a sweet sharknado of enlightenment and out the other side like a kick in the crotch.

P.S. I can’t find any synonyms for “sharknado” but I’m taking suggestions.

 

Image result for sharknado meme

I haven’t actually seen much more than a few minutes of one of the movies but in concept, I’d say genius.

Both Alike in Indignity

The very best part of writing a book is marketing it, right? /sarcasmfont

But I’m doing it anyway because as much as I don’t expect to quit my day job to pursue noveling as a career, I still want people to see my book. A few people. Other than my mom and best friends.

So I’ve been using Google Trends to search for the best keywords. That’s where I found out that people search “postpartum” far more than “postpartum depression” and that’s why it, I assume, it was impossible for my family to recognize that I had it? /bitterfont

Also, tons of people search for depression so perhaps separating the phrase “postpartum depression” will yield better results?

It’s worth a try, I guess. Sometimes those little keyword tweaks make all the difference.

Related image

Untrue, apparently. Thanks for the false hope, meme.